THE REGINA PATRICIA
This is the story of the oldest junior hockey team franchise still operating today. The formation took place back in 1917 when some local men got together and formed a new junior hockey team called the Regina Patricia, later shortened to Regina Pats Junior Hockey Team in 1923.
The team's name came from the famous Princess Patricia's Light Infantry (PPCLI) Canada's most esteemed army corps. The regiment took its name from Princess Patricia, daughter of the Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria) who was the Governor General of Canada at that time. (to read more on PPCLI - go to How the Pats Got Their Name)
Two members of the Regina Patricia 1917-1919 teams served in the PPCLI before the First World War ended and at least one player, Herbert Conrad, who played in the 1918-19 Inaugural Memorial Cup, died in service. In war time France, the PPCLI adopted a bulldog as its mascot. In the 1980's when the Regina Pats needed a mascot, the logical choice was a bulldog named "Reg" short for "Regina". (This was introduced to hockey fans in Regina on 18 August 1998, "Reg", his descendant, will now appear on all Pats game jerseys as a shoulder adornment and will also soon be appearing prominently in Pats advertising and souvenir ventures).
Back then there were fewer players on a junior club. The first club only had twelve players. At that time they were playing seven-man hockey, the extra player being a rover. There was little time for rest.
As early as 1925 the Regina Pats started to play exhibition games. For the next several years they played intermediates, seniors and teams from other provinces for stronger competition.
It was common to see clubs play games that went into three periods of over-time in those days, both in league play and play-offs. Ten minutes straight time before the game was called due to a curfew. Some games were close, while other times they were in the high teens, even reaching into the twenties.
Many of the players played fifty or fifty-five minutes a game. Players did not often bother about changing lines, only individuals.
It was common to see forwards replacing defenseman and vice-versa. In the 1920's and 30's the clubs were only allowed to dress six players plus two substitutes.
A team would carry only one net-minder, if he got hurt, the game would be delayed until he returned or a defenseman would have to take his place in the net.
There were only about nine or ten players on each club. Wrist shots were common in those days. There were no slap shots, but much more passing and stick handling. The players could not pass the puck ahead until they reached the offensive blue line. The goalkeeper in those days stood up a lot more than the netminders of today.
There was no artificial ice, so the ice would have some melted patches, which slowed down the puck. The players used to have to flip the puck up in the air and get it to bounce.
With only a few players and little equipment they would travel from town-to town and province-to-province relying on the train to get them there. On some occasions, games were delayed due to the train being late. On short trips, they went by cars.
Penalties bore no similarity to those give today. If a player received any type of penalty he had to serve it to its full length. Sometimes a team would score two or three goals before the return of the penalized player. A goalie, if penalized, had to go to the "sin bin" (penalty box) and serve his sentence. Other hockey slang used back then was the citadel, mesh, twine, net (goal), rubber or disk (hockey puck), Rear guards (defenseman), tilt (game), session or frame (period). In the early years a player could receive a one-minute penalty for a very minor infraction. Two minutes up to five minutes for more serious calls.
Play-off series consisted of a two game total point series. This would be a local league final, provincial, interprovincial, western final (Abbott Cup) and the Canadian (Memorial Cup). It was not until 1925 that they decided to change the Memorial Cup to a best of three affair. The Championship became a best-of-five in 1937 and in 1943 changed to a best-of-seven final.
......... Photo: by written permission of William P. Argan ..........
On Wednesday, December 28, 1910, the Morning Leader stated: "Regina's new skating rink is now under construction. The ice area will be 190 feet by 110 feet. The approximate cost is between $130,000 and $140,000. The seating capacity is approximately 2,000. Four rows of seats will run around the entire ice with the exception of the south end at which end the ice will run to the outside wall.
Every game was played at the Regina Arena at 2230 Robinson Street, (west side of Robinson Street, between 14th and 15th Avenue, just north of the old Fire Hall). In those days, it was common to have double header games in the evening, the first at 8:00 p.m. and the second game at 10:30 p.m. and the game was usually not over until around midnight.
Back Row: Herb Pollock, 1st. Vice President; Miller Hackney; Jerry Crapper, Executive; Austin Smith, Secretary; E.C. Rossie, 2nd Vice President Third Row: Walter Molisky, Executive;Fred Harding; Duke Dutkowski; M.A. Wingham; Bill Lea, Coach & Manager Second Row: Ernie Cameron; Frank Broadfoot;
Front Row: John Molisky; Allan Wetmore, President; Walter
The Regina Leader, Wednesday, March 21, 1917, stated: "Bill Bettschen, Secretary of Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association (S.A.H.A.), returned from two weeks in Winnipeg after watching all of the Allan Cup Games. He said, 'Junior Hockey is all I'll talk about now.' Bill came back enthused with but one idea - to get Junior Hockey started in Saskatchewan. 'We've got to get the juniors playing hockey in Saskatchewan right away.' he said."
As soon as Corbeau heard about having junior hockey next season he wanted to donate a trophy. On March 22, 1917, the (S.A.H.A.) held a special meeting in the afternoon. The offer and acceptance of a Cup for the Junior Hockey Champions of Saskatchewan donated by E.C. Corbeau of this city was the feature of the special meeting.
The 1916-17 Season marked the first time for junior hockey throughout the Province of Saskatchewan.
The same summer, Regina Patricia hockey club was formed. It was named after the famous Princess Patricia Army Regiment, famous in World War One. ..... (Photo at the right: by Ron C. Johnston, taken by permission at Saskatchewan Hall of Fame)
That year the Province expanded to 12 teams in 5 different groups. The Regina Patricia's were in Group 1 which included two other Regina teams - Monarchs and Vics plus the Tyvan Tigers. The town of Tyvan is on #33 highway, sixty-five miles southeast of Regina.
1917-1918 - Patricia Roster: Goalie: Walter Broadfoot Defence: N.A. Drechler, Bill Broadfoot (Captain), M.A. "Ma" Wingham, Miller Hackney Centre: Frank Broadfoot, William Molisky Rover: Fred Harding, John Molisky Left Wing: Laudas Joseph "Duke" Dutkowski, Ernest Cameron Right Wing: Bill Molisky, Frank Broadfoot Coach: William Lea Trainer: Austin Smith President: J. Westmore Executive: B. Balmaine, A.G. Twiss, J. Snowball, H.G. Smith, H.E. Cunningham, A.E. Whitemore, J.W. Robson, T.P. Badenoch, F.C. Wilson, G. Cameron, E.D. Rossie, Herb Pollock, A.G. Smith
In the first season Regina Patricia relied on their 15 year old goaltender, Walter Broadfoot.
Taken from the Regina Leader: Regina Patricia Hockey Club's First - Ever Game, Friday, December 31, 1917.
Regina Patricia - 5 - vs. Regina Victoria - 2
1 - Victoria - Crapper - Time: 1:35
2 - Victoria - Marshall (Baldwin) - Time: 7:40
3 - Patricia - Frank Broadfoot - Time: 10:00
Penalties: W. Molisky Patricia (1 minute); Harding, Patricia (1 minute); Hackney, Patricia (1 minute); Davidson, Victoria (2 minutes); F. Broadfoot, Patricia (1 minute); Baldwin, Victoria (1 minute); W. Molisky, Patricia (1 minute); Crapper, Victoria (2 minutes); Baldwin, Victoria (2 minutes)
4 - Patricia - Wingham - Time: 4:00
5 - Patricia - Harding - Time: 11:00
6 - Patricia - Frank Broadfoot (Harding) - Time: 11:08
Penalties: Crapper, Victoria (1 minute); Miller, Victoria (3 minutes); W. Molisky, Patricia (3 minutes); Crapper, Victoria (2 minutes)
7 - Patricia - Dutkowski - Time: 8:20
Penalties: Wingham, Patricia (1 minute); Marshall, Victoria (1 minute); Marshall, Victoria (1 minute)
Referee: Delehay Judge of Play: Charley Otton
Regina Pats Line-Up:
Goal: Walter Broadfoot - (15 years old)
Defense: Bill Broadfoot (Captain); Miller Hackney; M.A. Wingham; N.A. Drechler
Rover: Fred Harding - (A Rover can play forward or defense)
Centre: Frank Broadfoot; John Molisky
Left Wing: Laudas Joseph "Duke" Dutkowski; Ernie Cameron
Ring Wing: Bill "Willie" Molisky
Coach & Manager: Bill Lea
All 4 teams played 6 games, playing each other twice in home-and-home games. Regina Patricia and Regina Vics both finished in first place with 5 wins and 1 loss. Both teams played a sudden death game on Friday, February 15th. The Patricia edged the Vics 4-3.
In the Southern Play-offs the following Monday, the train from Lumsden was late and the game did not start until 10:30 p.m. It was finished six minutes after twelve midnight. The lighter boys from Lumsden were unaccustomed to a rink as large as the Arena and the Patricia used their superior weight to good advantage as they overwhelmed the Northern Towners 16-1.
The following Thursday at Lumsden, the visitors played the same hockey as they did in Regina. It was a clean game with no penalties until the third period. Regina Patricia went on to win the second game 12-3 and the round 28-4.
Weyburn won in handy fashion in their own league and upset Moose Jaw Wanders twice 14-1 and 2-0 in the other Southern Final.
There were no competitors from the North that year. On Monday, February 15, Weyburn led 1-0 at the end of the first period. After that the local Patricia were not the same team, scoring 7 goals in the second period and 6 more in the final period as they went on to win 13-5.
The following Tuesday, at Weyburn, Regina defeated the local boys 8-5. Once again Molisky and Dutkowski were the stars. "Duke" scored 4 of the Regina Patricia 8 goals. At one time scoring 3 goals in thirty seconds.
Both E.C. Corbeau, the donor of the Corbeau Cup, and D.D. Broadfoot, father of the three Regina Patricia boys, took in the game. There were no Western or Canadian Play-offs that year.